Chadstone must be Melbourne’s most popular high-end shopping centre. I don’t have the statistics to prove it – only the personal experience of facing car-parks full to overflowing every time I venture there, plus queues snaking out of Prada and Chanel every time I walk past. It beats city shopping because at least those crowded car-parks are FREE and during Melbourne’s long, cold winter, it’s much more cosy shopping indoors. And yes, the range of stores, catering to all wallets – from rob-a-Swiss-bank-to-buy-anything to shoe-string budgets – is vast and varied.
But if your budget doesn’t stretch to European haute couture (and mine certainly doesn’t) then Chaddy also stocks a great selection of local designers, with stock carrying far more reasonable price-tags. One of my favourite Aussie labels comes from three Sydney-based sisters who started up Manning Cartell. Over the years, their stock has mostly been sold through independent boutiques, but gradually, with growing success, they’re opening their own stores. I always loved buying their stock (sorry, loved even more Channel TEN buying it!) as a newsreader, because their jackets were so consistently well-cut and stylish. And it was tricky finding chic jackets that fit the ‘newsreader mode’ without being ‘mother-of-the-bride’…
So I was thrilled to find they’ve only JUST (two weeks ago) opened a new store at Chadstone. My girlfriend Rochelle and I were shopping there on Saturday which meant I happened to have a willing model on hand, (after a little arm-twisting) to showcase some of their best stock. And oh boy, do they have some good stuff!
I like the fact they do suits with skirts OR shorts, so you can dress this look up or down – for work or play. Their fabrics are divine – suits in textured metallic weaves or soft-spun gold thread, with light-as-a-feather silk tops to float underneath. It’s the contrasts between tailored, sharply structured pieces (suit jackets, leather singlets) with floaty, ethereal elements that gives the label its unique edge.
Manning Cartell also showcase a range of accessories, such as metallic belts in pewter, rose gold or gun metal for $299 each that would update any outfit. Another coveted piece was the most beautiful structured lace skirt I’ve spied this season and is SOOOO on my birthday wish-list. Not to mention a classic sequinned tunic that has a funky 60s feel and would be a great trans-seasonal after-five number.
But my favourite on the day would have to be this sexy peach dress which gets away with having almost ‘too-much-in-your-face-cleavage’ because of the fabric being demure lace…
If I had the figure for it, I’d grab it, but given the post-giving-up-smoking additional kilos aren’t budging, I’ll have to leave that one for Rochelle who looks amazing in this. In fact, with the right hat, I think it would be perfect for Oaks Day, don’t you?